The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time TEXT RESPONSE Steps to take 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Reading and demonstrating an understanding of the topic Brainstorming ideas Planning your response Write the introduction Write the body paragraphs Write the conclusion Proofread
Step 1: Read the essay topic carefully Define key terms if necessary Find as many synonyms as you can for each of the key terms use this new vocab in your essay to show you understand the topic Answer ALL parts of the topic too many students ignore one half of a twopart question! Lets look at an example... Example topic: In solving the murder-mystery, Christopher learns much more than just who killed Wellington. Discuss.
Key terms: Solving finding the answer, searching, resolving, explaining, unravelling, deciphering, discovering... Learns discovers, realises, understands... Much more further, new information, discoveries, a great deal, a great extent... Just only, merely, simply, solely... Topic in my own words: As Christopher searches for the answer to who killed Wellington, he discovers a great deal more than merely the person who committed the crime. To what extent is this true? Step 2: Brainstorm ideas ALWAYS challenge the topic! Draw up a table as a brainstorm: Points that AGREE with the topic
Points that DISAGREE with the topic Once you have filled in the table you can see where most of your points lie and therefore what your contention (stance/argument) should be for the topic. You can also then choose the best point to include in your essay There is no right or wrong answer how you interpret the topic is up to you, you must need to use evidence from the text to back it up! Brainstorm about the topic: In solving the murdermystery, Christopher learns much more than just who killed Wellington. Discuss. I agree with this topic...to an extent Points that AGREE with the topic (learns much more) Points that DISAGREE with the topic (only solves the mystery) Learns that his mother is alive Learns that his father is the killer
Learns how to become more independent (travelling alone etc.) Doesnt learn to trust his father or understand the complex emotions behind his parents relationship Learns to be brave and to use his logical mind to solve real life problems Still focused more on his A grade tests than the deeper emotional lessons of his journey Step 3: Write a plan
From your table, choose three solid, strong arguments/points that support your interpretation of the topic (these will become the basis for your body paragraphs) Write up a dot point plan that shows the order and flow of your arguments/ body paragraphs (the one that agrees most with the topic should go first, and the one that least agrees with the topic last as a general rule) Plan: In solving the murder-mystery, Christopher learns much more than just who killed Wellington. Discuss. Introduction BP1 Learns his mother is alive
BP2 learns to be brave and independent BP3 doesnt learn to understand the complex emotional nature of his parents relationship Conclusion Dont forget to plan what evidence you want to use Put the point that most agrees with the topic first, to the one that most disagrees with the topic last (logical flow of ideas) Step 4: Write your introduction Four things to include: 1. General statement : either a statement that explores the themes/broad ideas of the topic (dont mention the text) 2. Link topic to the text (mention name of text underlined, and authors name)
3. Outline of the points you will talk about in your body paragraphs (dont get into specifics just yet, be brief) avoid listing (about a sentence each) 4. Contention clearly state what your interpretation of the topic is TIPS: Dont use quotes in the introduction (unless they are a part of the topic) Introduction example: In solving the murdermystery, Christopher learns much more than just who killed Wellington. Discuss. When on a journey to solve lifes mysteries, often we end up learning much more than we expect. In Mark Haddons The Curious Incident of the Dog in the NightTime, the narrator Christopher embarks on a murdermystery to find out who killed his neighbour's dog, and discovers a great deal about himself and his family. During his detective work, he learns about the true fate of his mother, as well as qualities and capabilities within himself that he never knew existed. However, he also fails to comprehend the complex emotional meanings behind the crime he investigates, and chooses to return to status quo at the end. Hence, Christopher does come to understand a lot more than the culprit of the
murder, but still has some way to go in truly understanding the motives behind it. When on a journey to solve lifes mysteries, often we end up learning much more than we expect. In Mark Haddons The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, the narrator Christopher embarks on a murder-mystery to find out who killed his neighbour's dog, and discovers a great deal about himself and his family. During his detective work, he learns about the true fate of his mother, as well as qualities and capabilities within himself that he never knew existed. However, he also fails to comprehend the complex emotional meanings behind the crime he investigates, and thus never truly grasps the reasons for Wellingtons death. Hence, Christopher does come to understand a lot more than the culprit of the murder, but still has some way to go in truly understanding the motives behind
it. General statement about text Link topic to text Point 1 learns about his mother Point 2 learns about himself Point 3 doesnt learn about emotions Contention on topic based on points outlined (partly agree/party disagree) Write the body of your
essay (your body paragraphs Step 5: TEEL!) Each body paragraph needs a: Topic sentence that explains what idea each paragraph will explore in detail (which should have been outlined in the introduction) Deep, thoughtful and sophisticated explanation of how this point backs up your interpretation of the topic (elaborate on topic sentence) Quotes and examples (i.e. evidence) should be embedded throughout the explanation Link back to your interpretation of the topic use key terms from the topic in your linking sentences TIPS: Body paragraphs should be very detailed and specific dont be vague and waffle on, and dont just retell or summarise
the story! Show a high level of knowledge of the text through carefully Example TEEL body paragraph As Christopher endeavours to discover who kills Wellington, he inadvertently uncovers the truth about his mother. Though Christophers sole aim was tracking down the criminal and recording this adventure in his journal, he uncovers a hidden trove of letters from his mother that explain her fate. Christopher had been led to believe that his mother had died of a heart attack because Ed found it impossible to explain their marriage problems and the true reason why Judy left, due to Christophers difficulties in understanding emotions and finding people confusing. However, when Christopher is looking for his hidden journal, he reads Judys letters that explain that she left because she was not a very good mother and believed he would be better off with Ed, a much more pacient person. Understandably, Christopher was shocked as he learnt not only that his mother was alive, but that his father had lied to him a deep betrayal as he believes loving someone is telling them the truth. Connected with this scene, Christopher is told by Ed that he was the one who killed Wellington, and thus Christopher decides to leave as he is frightened of being in the house with him. Clearly, Christophers determination to pursue his detection around
who killed Wellington led him to learn a great deal more about his parents. Now you write your conclusion Step 6: Bring your main ideas together dont just spout out everything youve already said what conclusions have you drawn about the topic based on evidence from the text that you have presented? What have we learnt about the topic? Finish with a clincher sentence to tie everything together and finish it off closing statement that reinforces your contention (Therefore/Thus/Overall...) Sample Haddons novel gives us a unique insight into
the mind of Christopher, who views the world in a very unique way. Through his determination to solve the crime of who killed Wellington, he ultimately unravels the mystery of his mother and also learns much more about his own capability to break routine and show bravery, though the subtle emotions behind this crime still elude him. Hence, we learn that through our journeys in life, we usually end up discovering more than we intended to. NOTE: 3 sentences only! Step 7: Proofread Check for mistakes and fix them! Use a dictionary! Can you strengthen any points by using more powerful vocabulary? Find stronger words for basic ones
Check you have covered the criteria Check you have used enough topic words/synonyms to make sure you have linked to the topic at all times Dos and donts DO underline the title of the text (you should only need to write it out once in your intro) Banned words: I, me, my, you, prove, really Dont say agree/disagree or mention the essay, this paragraph or anything else along those lines EVER e.g. I agree with the topic... or This paragraph in my essay will talk about...
Dont ask questions in your essay! Phrase as a statement MINIMUM of THREE body paragraphs Check you have covered the criteria (attached on assignment) Use formal language (not informal/colloquial/slang) Use strong, sophisticated vocabulary (bring a dictionary!) Write up a plan to stay focused (dont get off track stick to the
topic!) Grammar, punctuation, spelling Embed key parts of quotes fluently within your sentences Link to the topic - ALWAYS Write practice essays for feedback before the assessment task The SAC Is part of your mid year exam The exam goes for 2 hours
1 hour for the text response SAC (you should focus on this part its important you pass) 1 hour for a language analysis (practice) You dont get the topics for the text response beforehand you must know the text well! (memorise at least 10 key quotes)
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